HC Deb 08 February 1926 vol 191 cc641-2
90. Mr. W. BAKER

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that, on the 29th January, Sir Wyndham Childs, head of the Special Branch of Scotland Yard, left behind a loaded automatic pistol in a case on the rack of a railway carriage; if he will state whether Sir Wyndham Childs was on duty at that time, and, if so, whether the peculiar nature of the duty necessitated carrying a loaded revolver in a case; why it was necessary for a pistol in a case to be loaded; and if he will take immediate and adequate steps to secure that such official weapons are kept in greater security in future?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir William Joynson-Hicks)

The facts of this incident are not quite correctly set out in the question, but I cannot discuss the circumstances in which a police officer may be justified in carrying a firearm for his own protection.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this gentleman is an officer in the Army, and is not an officer of the Army or Navy entitled to have a revolver?


As far as I am concerned, this officer is in the police service, and as such I answered the question.


If these gentlemen are trusted with these weapons, ought they not to be careful not to leave them about?


Does not the fact that he left it show that he ought not to be trusted?


I accept the suggestion of the first supplementary question. With regard to the second, I think there are circumstances which might relieve the officer of the suspicion passed upon him by the hon. Member.